How to Start a Private Practice | POP 901

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What are the core aspects of any private practice? What do you have to do to get started? Which mindsets do you first have to unlearn before you can truly succeed in your new private practice?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about how to start a private practice.

Podcast Sponsor: Level Up Week

An image of the podcast sponsor, Level Up Week is captured. Level Up Week sponsors the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Our previous Level Up Week was a grand success, and we’re so excited to bring it back!

We have over 20 webinars, all designed to help you Level Up your private practice, no matter what stage you’re at. Plus, it’s all entirely FREE.

So why Level Up Week? Because we provide you with practical, actionable strategies from top leaders in the field. You’ll gain tools to elevate your practice, expand your knowledge, and engage with a community of like-minded professionals.

Let me break down why this event is tailor-made for you:
If you’re a new therapist looking to start or grow a solo practice, we’ve got insights tailored just for you, like the ‘Solo Practice Panel and Q&A.’
Or maybe you’re a seasoned professional wanting to grow, then you’ll want to learn from experts in the field on topics like ‘Growing a Group Practice’ and ‘Keys to Successfully Accepting Insurance in Your Practice.’

And if you’re looking to harness technology for your practice’s advantage? Don’t miss ‘5 IT Things You Have to Master.’

Don’t let this opportunity slip by. Register now to attend one of more of these amazing free webinars and take the next step in your private practice journey.

In This Podcast

  • Lessons to first unlearn
  • Simple truths to know
  • The 3 things you need when starting your practice
  • Your first year
  • How to decide your rates

Lessons to first unlearn

1 – Busyness is not business: don’t fall into the trap of thinking that being busy is going to build you a great business. You often need more moments of clarity and intentional small actions instead of huge stints of hard work every day.

The truth is that being busy doesn’t actually set you up for a great business. Having a great infrastructure and systems will help you. If you don’t plan it correctly, it’ll just be another job and not a business.

Joe Sanok

2 – “Money is bad”: the truth is that money magnifies what is already present. If you are a bad person and you make more money, you’re going to be worse!
If you’re a good person and you make more money, then you’re going to make sure that you help the world.

Just making money isn’t what makes somebody bad … we can take our own values and postures towards the world, the goodness we [can] create, and we can make money and impact the world in a positive way.

Joe Sanok

3 – “The best do the best”: the truth is that you can be the best therapist in town, but if people don’t know you, then you won’t have any clients. Your success also depends on:

  • Who your clients know
  • Who they like
  • Who they trust

Your clients need to know, like, and trust you, and that comes down to you making sure that you network well and market yourself, and are authentic in your work.

Simple truths to know

1 – Setting up a business is easy!:

  • there is a logistical aspect with registration, EHR, and websites
  • Marketing systems to let the right people know that you exist
  • Do good clinical work by looking at the needs of your clients and pairing them up with your skillset

2 – Community boosts growth: join a community of like-minded therapists that are at a similar level in their businesses to grow and learn together while supporting one another.

3 – Learn from those that came before you: many people have started private practices before you, so learn from them. You do not have to reinvent the wheel.

I highly recommend Next Level Practice because it not only offers an abundance of support [and] resources for every level of the group practice journey but it also provides the needed community and accountability to keep you moving forward and going strong as a practice owner and entrepreneur.

Joe Sanok

The 3 things you need when starting your practice

1 – Access to knowledge: look for people and communities that are operating from within the niche or group that you want to have as well.

2 – Find a community of people: fellow therapists in your network or an organized membership community.

3 – Tools of the trade: keep track of new technology to optimize your workflow while maintaining a human touch to it.

Your first year

Your first quarter from months 0 – 3:

  • Setting up your website and getting going on blogging
  • Look at your ideal client
  • Choosing insurance versus private pay
  • Get basic systems going

Your second quarter from months 4 – 8:

  • Boost your networking and branding
  • Offer niche-specific talks
  • Get a virtual assistant at this point

If I looked at the 10 to 15 clients that you’re at within those three quarters, what’s the 20% that you’re doing that’s getting you 80% [of the results]?

Joe Sanok

Your third and fourth quarters from months 9 – 12:

  •  Add clinicians at this point
  • Do interviews with clinicians that mirrors your niche
  • Look at the clients that you are turning away and see if you can serve them
  • Ask yourself how you can start to take off hats and become more of the CEO

How to decide your rates

You can start with the going rate for your area.

Alternatively, you can work backward from the amount that you want to take home annually, dividing backward until you have how much you need to earn per week and then how many clients you would need to see per week to make it work.

Factor in whether you’ll be seeing private pay or insurance, or a mix of both, and working out how much you should be paid.

Say you start at $125, when you’re 60% full that’s when you raise your rates again.

Joe Sanok

Go up by $15 to $25 per jump. Even if it feels scary, give it a go. Usually in October or November, send an email out to existing clients about how you are going to be realigning your prices in January of the coming year.

Of course, you can offer a sliding scale or work out a different situation with a client that you know truly cannot afford the standard rate.

Sponsors Mentioned in this episode:

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Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

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